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tv   [untitled]    February 24, 2012 11:00am-11:30am EST

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the rick of something unsafe coming into the country and looking at other avenues for getting there. >> thank you. >> the gentleman from michigan, mr. wahlberg, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you secretary for being here, and for enduring the long rounds of questioning. i would follow-up on my colleague about issues and using the tools we're seeing reduced in the military right now such as the c-27j, which was slated for use because of its medium sized capabilities, carrying capabilities, transport capabilities, multiple other things that, frankly, appropriately had been programmed to come to a base in my district nap is not going to be there now.
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it's been developed. say a worthy craft and i would encourage homeland security toy consider that. and a relationship to the border issue, the northern border, it may certainly be helpful. but having said that, let me move on to my main question i have here that also is concerned my district wit presence request reducing the number of detention beds to 1,200 beds for illegal immigrants. >> reduce it by 1,200. >> reduce it by, excuse me. the intent, as i understand it to use those savings to enhance alternatives detention programs, which is less expensive. when you think of $122 per day on average for a detention bed, and yet there's concern that the alternatives to detention generally leads to higher levels
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of sconding which adds additional security issues and problems as well. so with the memory of some high-profile cases of alternative detention situations where an individual, for instance, in massachusetts, took off the electronic device and absconded, will there be guarantees put into this program, stronger guarantees, stronger preventive tools to make sure that if we're going away from the beds we're not having absconders and high-risk individuals entering our community and wasting the resources we've done already? >> well, first of all, i think that it's important to make clear that we would only put
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into atd low, low-risk individuals that those who pose any kind of risk to public safety would not be considered for atd. atd run as -- a variety of ways you can do it. everything from kind of a reporting mechanism on a regular basis all the way to wearing a bracelet and having to call in at certain intervals and the like. so there's a broad range of ways that it can be done. our goal is, obviously, not have have atd be used as a back door to absconding, and our goal also is to make sure that we have available the beds we need for detention, and so the budget request includes language that as we go through the year, if we need to move some of those atd resources back into detention, that i, as the secretary, would be allowed to do so.
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>> is there any serious, looking at using contracted facilities? private facilities? >> for -- >> for detention. >> we do have some private facilities used for detention. we do contract with some, yes. >> any expansion of that for cost purposes as well? of course, we expect them to provide adequate care, but have we looked at the cost comparisons for using our own facilities versus contracted private facilities? >> well, a lot of our contracts are actually with other public entities like sheriff office whose run jails. a mix of public/private not just a mix of public facilities, but we're always looking at cost and bed costs and bed availability as we make these determinations. >> any studies, cost comparison, between the contracted facilities? >> i will look for you. undoubtedly there are on a
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project-by-project basis, because they compete, they bid, compete, for the contracts, but whether there's kind of something overall that looks private versus public, that, i don't know. >> i would appreciate that information. >> you bet. >> thank you. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. recognize the gentle lady from texas. recognize you for five minutes. >> mr. chairman thank you very much and let me thank the ranking member and thank the secretary. thank you for visiting lone star college in houston. they expressed their appreciation. i am also very happy of the disaster aid increase in the president's budget, and i would ask public, on the record, for someone from the department and fema, fema director on issues still going on in houston, texas, regarding a recent incident of disaster declaration. so if i could get that i'd greatly appreciate it. you said something, i'm going to have the question, something earlier i would appreciate hearing again in your five
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points, or as you opened. you said the issue of radicalization and terrorism and i'm paraphrasing your words, is not attended to or labeled by any religion or any particular group. would you want to just clarify that for us so that i think it's very important to the many diverse groups in our nation how we address the question of terrorism and terrorist threats here domestically. >> what i said was that, terrorism is not narrow to any ideology or nation. it's islamist, jihadist. it can be based on other ideologies. it can be internationally based. it can be home-grown. so it requires those of us that are in the terrorism prevention area to be looking at all of the known threats, all of the time. >> and looking closely at behavioral characteristics. i know that intelligence looks at many factors in our war,
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against terrorist acts? >> we are looking for technique. we're looking for behaviors. we're looking for tactics. early warning signs. anything that will enable us to prevent a terrorist act from being completed. >> and i will not ask you -- thank you very much for that. some of us agree with that approach, and i jut wanted to be clear that our budget frame in that way is well. i'm not asking you this question but i do know having sat through a hearing on fast and furious with the attorney general and one being held in the oversight committee, i would prefer my colleagues to the testimony that he gave in both those committees along with the various, a very astute report on fast and furious that would be helpful to the questions they may be seeking to ask. i want to go to the transportation security administration, and i know that try the faa bill that a, i won't even say a compromise was made, but what i think is a provision that really is a e questionable,
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but it slaw because we wanted to move on the faa bill, to undermine the discretion of the tsa administrator as it relates to -- made and now shell. can you speak to the issue of the testimony given that suggests that the privatization would cost taxpayers up to 9% more if the entire system was -- was not privatized, or the value of having fral tso officer fede under the united states government? >> i believe that the tsa has studies indicating that the cost of the private facilities is 3% to 9% more than what we would ultimately pay on the federal side, and that given the security needs that we have and
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how we manage the tso workforce it is much easier to have them all in one chain of command. that being said, we will work with the language and we will abide by the law. >> well, i would expect to you say that, madam secretary, but the law was a compromise to get a larger bill passed. and i would make the point on the record that i think it's disastrous, and i would hope that you would use your discretion or your authority to interact with the white house on how best to address the question of securitying the nation's airports and make sure that is the case. i also would like to ask the question about these ait machines and the fact there's going to be new technology and are you familiar wit funding you'll need to retrofit these machines? >> yes, and we have planned for that, and our expectation is the atr will be in all of the machines by the end of the year.
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>> and then with respect to the small businesses, if i can ask a question. i know that you are moving away from total dependence on contractors, and i certainly think there's value to that. there's a balanced workforce initiative, and opportunities for work is being create and i hope it will be diversified. but in the course of that a small minority and women-owned business, in the eye of the storm. many of them have worked effectively and efficiently as contractors for the federal government. how are you seeking to make sure that they are not disproportionately impacted when you move to this kind of approach? >> well, we continue to work on making sure that we are conducting good outreach to the small business community. woman minority businesses and the like. last year i think almost 30% our contracting dollars went to small businesses, and so what we're going to do is just to make sure that as we issue rfps and so forth that we continue to
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do so and look at ways that we can facilitate small business interacting with the department to try to get some of those contracting dollars. >> i thank you and look forward to meeting with you on this issue dealing with the tsa and tsa officers. i think this is vrnt important. thank you. i yield back. >> i recognize the gentleman from new york city. mr. turner, for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman king. nice sow see you again. madam secretary, earlier in the hearings you and chairman king discussed the increased threats from iran against soft targets. some synagogues and such in new york city where we have a large concentration of them. these organizations had been eligible and are eligible for the national preparedness grant
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program. can you tell me the status of that? >> yes. we have set aside some money in the 2012 grant awards for the national preparedness -- for ngos, excuse me, under the national preparedness grant program. our idea, or our vision, is to consolidate everything under one major grant program, and that would be one of the grants consolidated. so to summarize, there will be a separate carveout in '12 as we bridge to '13, but our vision is a lot of these separate carveouts now be merged into one umbrella grant program. >> and this year versus last year. increases? decreases? >> i'm not at liberty to say, because the rules of the body require us to provide adequate
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notice -- or a certain number of days notice. so i have to abide by this. >> we'll wait for that. all right. just another moment. i'd like your comment again. earlier representative regal talked about the 287 gs and the cooperation between local departments. as you may know, in new york city, the -- and i think this is in other municipalities as well, perhaps chicago -- the city council has directed the department of corrections not to inform i.c.e. when a felon is released after serving his time. so we have a three-strike rule. strike one, you entered the country illegally. strike two, commit add felony
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and now a third opportunity in new york. is the federal government interested in this? >> well, yes, and there are a few communities, or a few places around the country where for a variety of reasons secure communities has run into some opposition. 95% of the country, you know that we're in, it's fine. it's doing well. we're going to be working with these localities, cook county is one, new york city the other, see if we can make it clear that honoring the i.c.e. detainers, allowing there to be a seamless move from incarceration, detention, at the local level to our ability to remove from the country is -- makes sense at a lot of different levels. so we will be working with those communities. >> common sense.
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very uncommon commodity. thank you. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> chair yields back and recognize the gentle lady from california, mrs. richardson for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you madam secretary for your service, and the steady hand we've had with this department. it's been noticed and greatly appreciated. my first question to build upon ms. miller's committee hearing and you spoke about your intentions of requesting for the two-year extension for the 100% screening and i'm sure that your staff has briefed you on my concerns and other members' concerns, specifically i wanted to speak to at that meeting, it was said on the record that 4% of the containers identified through the screening process as high-risk containers are then allowed to leave foreign waters and then to come here to u.s. land. so my question is, specifically, i realize it's going to take us
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time to get through this 100% issue, but clearly i wanted to find out what were your thoughts when we found out what to prevent those high-risk containers that go through the process that is currently identified going to the shores and without being scanned and without being inspected. >> well, there is a number of things that are under way in that regard to make sure that before those containers are unloaded in our ports and shipped across the country what have you, that we ascertain what is in the high risk containers or we know with confidence what is in those high-risk containers. in our ports, we have monitors and individuals with handhelds and so far to look for the radiological contents, if there are any among other things, so really from the point of time when something is put into the supply chain to the point of
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time it is actually put in a container, then loaded on a ship, then delivered to the united states and unloaded in the united states, there is lots of ways now under our supply chain initiative that we have the opportunity to make sure that we have information and confidence in the information, and if not, we have the ability to do more by way of either screening or scanning. >> madam secretary, specifically, what i'm asking is, can you commit or provide information to the committee that the 4% of the high-risk karens which were 1,700 were scanned prior to getting on the u.s. since they were not done so before in the foreign? >> well, part of it is a random and one of the ways, you never know whether something will be pulled off. >> no. the question is, of the once
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identified as high risk and should have been properly scanned or inspected, had we had the resources or the relationships in place in those foreign ports, the question is, for those 4%, what confidence what assurance do we have in this committee that as those were unloaded on u.s. soil that they were, in fact, then scanned and/or inspected? >> we'll get that information for you. >> perfect. thank you. i appreciate it. if for some reason i wasn't clear in the earlier part, excuse that. my other question has to do with the, you have gotten a lot of questions about the grant program, and obviously, that is is near and dear to our hearts, because it ensures the local communities that safety is there, and do you plan on maintaining the tier systems within the national preparedness grant program? >> well, like i said, we are evaluating. our vision is to do things based on risk.
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we are not tiering in the way that -- thinking of tiering in the same way we do overall for for example in the usa context, but we are looking at it as a primarily a grant-based program. >> could we anticipate something similar to that as we val wait evaluate the risks that you are looking at cities and communities as they qualify of how they fall along that level? >> yes. i think that you can anticipate that we'll be looking at the area of risk very thoroughly in terms of these grant dollars, and again, i want to emphasize that the president has been requested in the fq 13 budget $13 million more than congress enacted last year and i know a number of you really were very strong in your opposition to the cuts in the grants. you see how they get used out in the communities and how
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important they are. so i'm hopeful as we go through the appropriations and the budget process that the, that we get more money to put in the grant's pot to begin with. >> may i follow-up, mr. chairman jn >> yes. >> thank you. very kind of you. i'm also the ranking chairman on the committee of preparedness and response and fema did this year conduct the first message of emergency preparedness, but lady gaga ruled the day in some other areas. have you redone the eea test and if so are you prepared to share the results of the westie the committee at this time? >> i have not done a full review within fema. there were some issues with the test, and that is why you do a test to find out the issues, and i have not yet consulted with lady gaga on how she achieved her results.
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>> thank you, madam secretary, thank you, mr. chairman. >> gentle lady yields back and recognize the chairman of the cyber committee from california mr. lundgren. >> thank you, madam secretary for being here and for your service on the state and the federal level. of course, what we are doing here is in the backdrop of the terrible economic circumstance facing us and the budget crisis that's facing us, and as one of the top leaders in our national defense said a year or so ago, that the greatest threat to national security, he thought, was this deficit. so i understand why you have some tough decisions to make with respect to a budget that you bring to us, and i appreciate very much your emphasis on risk based analysis all wait through. i may disagree on some things but i understand the tough job you've got here. let me ask you about one area that i've got specific concern
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about, and that's the area, of course, cyber security, working with you and others in the administration in the area of cyber security. i look at your budget you submitted. a large increase in funding for cyber security activities in the department, which i appreciate, and i applaud. and that seems to be focused specifically on the responsibility you have of kword a coordinating cyber security across different branch agencies and departments, yet there seems to be little in the budget for the coordination effort and cooperation with the private sector. can you tell me, does that indicate a -- a lack of concern for that or a lessened priority for the responsibility the dhs has? you know, the bill we've moved oust subcommittee and hopefully considered by the full committee recently makes abundantly clear
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in statute that dhs would be the main focus and platform of the federal government working with the private sector on the civilian side? >> no. we have quite a bit in the budget for coordination with the private sector, and it's a very important part. i really appreciated the work on cyber security. i'll be testifying on the senate side tomorrow on that area. i think it is an urgent and needed and very, very importa important -- i think perhaps because the coordination work across the federal family and the deployment of einstein -- completion of einstein ii and readying of einstein iii, they're easily seg gra gab and they get broken out, but that is not sow suggest that the work with the private sector is any less robust. >> thank you. a controversial relationship that got started without congress fully appreciating soapa, the stop on piracy act,
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we're starting over again and in judiciary committee. i've benefited greatly from assistance by people? your department about the impact of our original proposal over there, or the original proposal over there in the judiciary committee on dns sec which is, i happen to think, essential for us to ensure the integrity of the internet, and i would just ask your per in addition to work with your people as we work in other committees to try and get an appropriate fix. once we establish what the public oels ought policy ought did not do a good job of understanding the technology. you have some expertise in your department and i would hope we could work with them in attempting to come up with the fix that's necessary to protect against intellectual property theft at the same time not do unintended damage to the internet and internet security. >> we'd be happy to supply
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technical assistance to the committee in that regard. >> thank you very much. my last subject is the area of tsa. the screening partnership program. we've had the head of tsa up here a couple of times. and i respect him very much. i think he does an overall good job, but there does seem to be a slant in the department against that program, and i noticed that in your budget you have -- well a slight decrease in that program for fiscal year 2012. it's been a very small program, i think, in part because the department has been very reluctant to expand it. in the faa authorization, reauthorization conference report, which was passed early this month by both the house and the senate it has language that requires the administrator to make a decision whether or not to accept spp applications within 120 days of receiving it, and to accept any application unless the derman sags made such approval would compromise
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security or have a detrimental effect on cost efficiency or effectiveness of security screening at that airport. that would anticipate additional airports requesting that. i would just hope that there would not be the response that you don't have the budget to be able to respond to those requests, since i am personally aware of a number of airports that wish to at least apply for that. >> as i said earlier, we understand the language and the faa authorization, reauthorization, and we will seek to comply with it. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> gentleman yields back. gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and thank you madam secretary, for being here and for your testimony. and for the tremendous service that you provide to our country. i understand from the budget that for the first time a major
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focus of homeland security will be grant funding, will be sustainment of capabilities, and just to clarify, and help me understand, does this mean that you intend to focus more on sustainment of capabilities and will this maybe over support new developments? >> it depends. representative, it depends on you know what a particular community needs. it may need to buy something new, but what we have found in the past is that there was -- there used to be prohibition on being able to pay for maintenance, you know, over time. so there was a cost emphasis on buying new "stuff" for lack of a better term. we think now with $39 billion
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out the door that's time to look at how we maintain those resources as well as on purchasing new ones. >> what you see, the sustainments, as being transitional, or would it be perennial? >> again, you know, with respect to 20 -- the past years that are allocated, not yet out the door, we see sustainment as being part of having -- or getting those monies out the door. whether that, and how that is calculated in for 2013 and beyond is something that we will work on with the committee. >> earlier today you testified before the house appropriations committee regarding the proposed national preparedness grant program. you explained a small portion of
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the funding would be distributed based on a portion of the funding, population and has the rest of the money would be awarded to grantees based on risk. you suggest that states would expect to receive less money based on formula funding, because the program would be primarily risk-based. is it your expectation that the jurisdictions that currently receive the bulk of money pursuant to risk assessments would receive the same even more support under the new program? >> again, it depends, and i don't want to be premature in saying how the awards will be given out, but if -- unless a gh


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